The summer is quickly approaching and over the next week, Poker Central’s finest minds are putting their heads together to predict and preview the poker world’s busiest stretch of action. Talking everything Super High Roller Bowl and World Series of Poker are editorial members Remko Rinkema, Paul Oresteen and Will O’Connor, along with contributions from Sam Simmons, Brent Hanks and Carly O’Loughlin.

Who is the biggest celebrity that will hit this year’s WSOP?

Remko: Poker Central and ESPN broadcasting the World Series of Poker Main Event live, and without the three-month gap for the November Nine, will allow for more celebrities to take part in the biggest tournament of the year. I think that many athletes and actors will make their way to Las Vegas and I’m hoping to see the likes of Kevin Hart, Paul Pierce, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon make an appearance.

Brent: Ben Affleck has to be on the fifth day of a bender though, right? Only want Affleck if he’s on a bender.

Paul: It’s got to be Kevin Hart, right? He’s the number one comedian in the world.

Carly: Kevin Hart will definitely make an appearance at the WSOP between his tour stops. He’s been flying around the world lately to play poker and I don’t think this summer will be any different.

Sam: In search of more gold, Michael Phelps. (Pictured below.)

Will: Thanks to a multi-year stint on the disabled list, Rob Gronkowski has made appearances everywhere an over-sized, football-playing frat boy is welcomed but he has yet to take the Delta Psi Wednesday night poker game to the World Series. Gronk stumbles out of a dayclub in the middle of June and finds himself going shot-for-shot with his entire Daily Deepstack table. Gronk wins the drinking game but loses the his chips and his shirt in the process.

One storyline, real or made up, that you are looking forward to?

Remko: The WSOP is a machine that churns out some of the best stories in all of poker and it is up to us – the media, the players, the observers, the fans – to recognize those stories as they develop. Every year the game moves me in different ways, like Erasmus Morfe’s WSOP Main Event run as a satellite winner in 2015 and Bob Brundige’s story last year, one that Lance Bradley captured and turned into an award-winning piece. Poker is life, people find the game in different ways, approach it in different ways and experience it in different ways. That’s what makes the game so special and why I’ll never get bored of reading, writing and watching the game that ultimately brings people together and allows for them to have a good time away from their day-to-day lives. It’s not just about the pros, it’s about the everyday man and woman who play the game to have a good time.

Paul: My favorite story of the summer is always the WSOP Player of the Year race. I’m interested to see the new points system and think any change over the last couple of years is a good one.

Will: There are so many ways to go with this one but I’m going to take the made up route. Before the summer, someone makes a multi-million dollar bracelet bet with Fedor Holz and he quickly needs to come out of retirement and learn all the games in an attempt to win the bet. He ends up picking up quickly and then a month into the series, finds himself at two final tables that are running at the same time! Because of the new layout of the WSOP rooms, Fedor runs a marathon going from one table in Brasilia to another in Amazon and finishes 3rd in both events. Despite the bronze medals, it is arguably considered one of the most amazing feat in poker history and because anything is possible when you are Fedor Holz, he then wins two bracelets before the end of the summer, to win the bet before going back into retirement.

Brent: Poker hero Darvin Moon makes this year’s Main Event final table.

Sam: #RioRakeRiots2017

What is your best WSOP memory?

Remko: Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have witnessed friends win bracelets, make the November Nine and win life-changing money. However, my own personal best memory is playing the $2,500 10-Game Mix event in 2015 and bluff-catching Scotty Nguyen in Badugi with a three-card five after the last draw. In that event, I played with Nguyen, Phil Hellmuth, Kevin MacPhee, Alexander Lahkov, Randy Holland and Andrei Zaichenko. I’ll never forget that.

Will: Since everything and anything I do has an “East Coast Bias” attached to it, the 2015 Main Event final table is easily my best memory. Four players were from the tri-state area and then two players, Joe McKeehen and Josh Beckley, who I had covered countless times in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, finished 1-2. The East Coast was the *Beast Coast two years ago.

Paul: I have a ton but my funniest memory is when I covered Men “The Master” Nguyen defeat Brandon Adams for a bracelet and Nguyen was so drunk that he couldn’t see straight. He called Adams “Brian” the whole night, he would tank just to stare down a dealer he didn’t like and his winner’s interview was a rambling story that his rail kept interrupting, yelling at us in Vietnamese.

Brent: Winning my own bracelet in 2012. (Pictured above.)

Look out for more of Poker Central’s Pre-Summer Round Table over the next few days and follow Poker Central and PokerGO to get ready for the 2017 Super High Roller Bowl.